Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter #111


Welcome to the Beginner’s Guide to RVing from The information we present here every Monday through Friday is for brand-new RVers – those in the market to buy their first RV and those who just purchased theirs. If you are an experienced RVer, this material may be too basic for you.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2020

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DID YOU MISS reading this morning’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter? Good stuff there.

RVing Basics

How long will your propane supply last?
There is a way to roughly calculate propane usage. You need to know how much propane is in your RV when it is full. An RV propane tank is full at 80 percent of its capacity to allow for expansion. Multiply your propane container capacity using one of these formulas (gallons or pounds) to determine container BTU capacity. BTUs per gallon equal 91,502. BTUs per pound equal 21,548. Divide your container BTU capacity by the total BTU demand of the appliances you are using. BTU appliance demand can normally be found on the appliance or in the appliance owner’s manual. This will give you an idea of how long you can expect your LP gas to last. For example, if your RV propane container holds 14 gallons of LP gas when it’s full, you multiply 14 X 91,502. The result is 1,281,028. You divide this figure by the total BTU demand of appliances, let’s say 43,800 BTUs, which gives you approximately 29 hours of use. Tip from Mark Polk, RV Education 101.

Always retract your steps when parked temporarily!
“NEVER leave your steps extended in a public place where cars and people are moving around. I pulled into a gas station and jumped out to see if I had pulled far enough forward to reach the fuel filler with the hose. Seconds later as I came back around the RV to get in, a car was trying to squeeze in between my RV and the pumps and ran over my steps! In my hurry I had not flipped the switch to retract the steps when the door was closed.” —Thanks to Jimmie C. for letting us learn from his painful lesson!

Save even more on a SoftStartRV!
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Quick Tips

Driving in dust or smoke?
If you must drive in dusty conditions (gravel road, dust storm, etc.), fire up your generator and run ALL of your roof air conditioners while driving over any dusty roads. Doing this will help keep dust from creeping in through any tiny holes. Also, if you find yourself driving through smoky conditions as a result of, for example, wildfires, running your air conditioners will help reduce the smoke and odor inside the RV. Don’t forget to check the filters on the air conditioners later. Thanks to Ron Jones,

Short-term workaround for conked-out RV fridge
If your RV refrigerator should ever fail when you are far from a repair shop, buy some bagged ice and put it inside. It will help keep your food cold until you can get help. You won’t have as much time with the frozen food, so maybe it’s time to pig out and eat it up before it goes bad.

We welcome your Quick Tips. Submit them here. Thanks!

Cirrus Truck CamperToday’s RV review…

In today’s column, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the new 2021 nuCamp Cirrus 820 Truck Camper. As he reports, “I think they’ve done a great job with this truck camper including providing a lot of very usable, practical features in a package that will fit a lot of trucks out there.” Learn more.

Did you read Tony’s review yesterday of the 2021 Cherokee Wolf Pack 24Gold14 Toy Hauler? If you missed it, you can read it here.

For previous RV reviewsclick here.

“If you could tell someone new to RVing just one thing, what would it be?”

From the editors: We asked our readers this question recently. Here is one response: 

“Plan everything, but be flexible in its execution. Meaning be flexible with your route, your stopping time and location, your checklists, your RV contents, and your intention for this RV trip. When you have a plan and work through that plan your chances of a successful experience are much better than if you just wing it. Of course, anything CAN happen but if you are prepared with a plan it doesn’t blindside you into making a bad decision. You just deal with it according to your plan and roll on. Enjoy the journey!” —Candace

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Random RV Thought

If you bring along a dog or cat on a trip, there is a 99 percent chance that it will prefer your favorite easy chair to all other places in your RV.
Perhaps your pet needs their own sleeping bag?

• If you’re a member of Facebook, be sure to sign up for our groups RV Buying Advice, RV Advice and Budget RV Travel. For a list of all our groups and newsletters, visit here.

• If you buy a defective RV and are unable to get it fixed or its warranty honored, here is where to turn for help.

• If you need an RV Lemon Law Lawyer, Ron Burdge is your man.

Why you should never finance an RV for 20 years!

Read previous issues of Beginner’s Guide to RVing newsletters here.

RV Travel staff

Need help? Contact us.

Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editors: Emily Woodbury, Diane McGovern.

Everything in this newsletter is true to the best of our knowledge. But we occasionally get something wrong. We’re just human! So don’t go spending $10,000 on something we said was good simply because we said so, or fixing something according to what we suggested (check with your own technician first). Maybe we made a mistake. Tips and/or comments in this newsletter are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of or this newsletter. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers.

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Richard Hughes
4 months ago

If dry ice is available, buy a chunk along with your bagged ice, to keep the freezer cold if your fridge conked out.